Controlling Beaver Damage

Published 2013

Beavers (Castor canadensis) are the largest rodents in North America with adults weighing 40 to 60 pounds. Beavers are industrious, curious, and social. Beavers begin breeding during January and young are born three to four months later. The mature beaver colony is composed of three generations of beavers. Most beavers are four years old or younger but some can live up to eight years.
Harvest by humans has the larget impact on beaver populations, but river otters, wolves, coyotes, bobcats, and large birds of prey occasionally kill beavers.

Beavers are one of the few vertebrates capable of altering their immediate environment to suit their needs. Beaver activity can create very large areas of deep, standing water where once only shallow, slow-moving water existed. Plants and animals adapted to pond life and the associated wetlands quickly establish themselves in a newly flooded area. The environmental benefits provided by beaver ponds and wetlands should be weighed against the damage before implementing any beaver control.

Publication Details


Stephen M Vantassel

Scott E. Hygnstrom

Dennis M Ferraro

Sam Wilson

Ronald Fryda


Natural Resources

Wildlife Management

Publication Date June 01, 2001
Last Revision Date October 15, 2013
Language English


Series NebGuide